Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has announced an expansion of the state’s saliva testing program, which he says will significantly increase the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity, help reduce community spread, and offer more options for those who want a free test.
Saliva testing has already been happening in Duluth since Sept. 23, and it recently started up in Winona, too. Now, semi-permanent saliva testing sites will soon be opening in Moorhead and Brooklyn Park.
An additional six sites will be opening in late October, two in greater Minnesota and another four in the metro area — for a total of 10 sites. A new lab in Oakdale will be processing the tests.
Gov. Walz says the expansion is part of the state’s strategy of understanding and reducing community spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota.
“We want to cut off that community spread by making sure that people can get tested as easily, and as quickly, and as close to their home as they possibly can. The longer it takes for us to find out if somebody has this, the more they unknowingly spread it,” said Walz.
State officials say a pilot program is also set to begin, allowing Minnesotans to register online and receive their at-home testing kit via UPS. The state is finalizing some details of the program but expects to launch the pilot in several counties soon.